Enjoy a Night of “Cowboy Cuisine”


Grilled Bison SteaksTHUNDER BAY – Special times and special meals go hand in hand. The smell of fresh bread, or apple pie baking immediately bring back memories of special times for most people. Smart real estate agents are known for baking a pie in the oven of a home they are showing for an open house. In advertising, we often hear “it is the sizzle, not the steak.” In the kitchen, or on the grill or from the barbecue, is the taste, the flavour and the presentation.

Often our special memories are tied to the preparation of good food, the fine wines, and the good company we share those times with.

One of the special summer treats is having a barbecue dinner, with grilled steaks and all the fixings. Our friends at Belluz Farms share that by next weekend, the sweet corn will be ready for picking. Toss in a few steaks from one of our local butchers, Bay Meats, or head out to the Farmer’s Market and you can have the makings of a real western evening.

Here is a meal to get you started on your personal night under the stars of a western sky…

Grilled Maple Bison Tenderloin; with Canadian Campfire Cowboy Beans; and Sweet Corn … and for desert, a southern Pecan Pie.


Grilled Maple Bison Tenderloin

1 1 1/3 lb (650 g) bison tenderloin (or steak)


Maple Sauce:

  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) butter
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) shallots, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup (150 mL) red wine
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) maple syrup
  • 1 cup (250 mL) game stock or demi-glaze sauce
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) cream 35 %
  • Salt and pepper


Pepper bison tenderloin. Cook on an oiled barbecue grill over medium-high heat for 15-20 minutes, until preferred doneness, turning occasionally. Do not overcook. Pour a generous amount of maple sauce into a serving dish and add the tenderloin on top, having carved a few slices. As a suggestion, serve with steamed broccoli and grilled sweet potatoes.

Maple Sauce:

In small saucepan, sauté shallots in butter for two minutes while stirring. Pour in the wine while scraping the bottom with a spatula. Simmer until reduced to half, stirring occasionally. Stir in the maple syrup, game stock and cream.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer until the sauce has reduced to half. Serve with red meat.

Yield: 4 servings

Canadian Cowboy Baked Beans

Ingredients needed

  • 3/4 pound dried white beans, picked over to remove any broken beans and stones
  • 1/2 pound bacon, diced
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onions
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons (or more) minced garlic
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can chopped tomatoes, with their juices
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle lager or ale — to be authentic, Molson Canadian works well
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup Canadian whiskey
  • 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves

In a large pot, place the beans and cover with water by 3 inches. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until the beans are just tender, about 1 hour and 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain and set aside.

In a large pot, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until brown and the fat is rendered, about 6 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. To the fat in the pan, add the onions, chili powder, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until the onion is soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and their juices, and cook for 2 minutes.

Add the beer, syrup, sugar, stock, whiskey, mustard, Worcestershire and bay leaves. Stir well and cook for 1 minute. Add the beans and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer covered for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and continue to simmer until tender, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, and adding more water as needed to keep the beans covered.

Remove from the heat and adjust seasoning, to taste.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Corn on the Cob

Tasty corn, cooked just right, smothered in butter with just the right amount of salt is a great addition to your barbeque dinner. While there are many recipes you can try, I tend to prefer a corn boil. If you add some sugar and lemon juice to the water, you will find that the taste and flavor of the corn is greatly enhanced.

Pecan PieDesert

No Real BBQ Feast would be complete without a tasty desert… This one comes to you courtesy of a special southern belle who offered to share her Granny’s recipe
Granny’s Pecan Pie. Special thanks to a really classy lady of the South!


  • 1 cup of light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup of pecans
  • 1 uncooked 9 inch pie shell

Heat oven to 450 degrees in medium bowl beat syrup, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and salt with fork until well mixed. Stir in pecan pieces pour into pie shell and bake 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 35 minutes longer until puffed and golden brown. Cool on rack.

You can serve your pecan pie as you like, some like it with whipped cream, and others like it with vanilla ice cream. The choice is all up to you!

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